Tennessee Bill Passes, Legalized Armed Teachers on School Grounds as Safety Measure

Nashville, TN: Lawmakers in Tennessee passed a bill to the governor that would legalize concealed guns on school grounds. The move comes one year after a Nashville school shooter shot six innocent students.

With a vote of 68 to 28, the Tennessee House of Representatives approved the bill. Along with Democrats, four Republicans voiced their opposition to the plan. The bill was approved earlier this month by the Republican-controlled state Senate.

State Representative Ryan Williams (R) stated on Tuesday that the law will improve school safety.

“I believe that this is a method by which we can do that, because what you’re doing is you’re creating a deterrent.”

State Representative Ryan Williams (R) stated on the House Floor.

Teachers and other school employees who want to carry concealed weapons on school property would have to take 40 hours of annual school policing training, according to the bill.

There are other states that have passed laws permitting teachers to carry weapons besides Tennessee. A nonprofit dedicated to preventing gun violence, the Giffords Law Center, reports that with a few exceptions, at least 26 states have passed legislation allowing school personnel, including teachers, to legally possess firearms on school property.

The bill faced widespread criticism from both lawmakers and the general public. Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell criticized the bill and said, “This is what we’re going to do. This is our reaction to teachers and children being murdered in a school, our reaction is gonna throw more guns at it. What’s wrong with us?”

Protesters in the Hall holding banners.

Gun Reform Activists also pushed back on the bill and chanted “Blood on your hands,” during the floor proceedings as per NBC News.

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